What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is surprisingly common and can happen at any age,
not just in adult relationships…
It can also take different forms, and sometimes what seems like
a 'normal' relationship can deteriorate over time into a pattern of
An abusive relationship rarely begins with violence. It often
starts off with controlling behaviour, when someone continually
hurts, controls or upsets the person they are with.
Although women and girls are more likely to be the victims of
domestic abuse, it does happen to men and boys as well, and can
also occur in same sex relationships.
What are the warning signs?
It is important to recognise the different kinds of domestic
abuse and spot the signs that a relationship may be
Emotional abuse can involve:
- Checking up on you all the time, by looking at your emails,
texts, facebook and other social networking sites
- Keeping you away from your friends and family
- Controlling what you wear or where you go
- Calling you names or putting you down
- Making you feel ashamed and guilty, and blaming you for
Types of physical abuse include slapping, hitting, punching,
pushing, biting, kicking, choking, pulling hair, pinning someone
against a wall, or using weapons.
Sexual abuse includes unwanted touching or kissing - forcing you
to have sex - pressurising you not to use contraception - making
you watch pornography when you don't want to.
Examples of financial abuse are taking or controlling your money
- forcing you to buy things you don't want to - forcing you to
work, or stopping you from working.
What can I do?
If these warning signs sound familiar and you're worried about
- Always share your concerns with someone you trust, such as a
friend, teacher, or youth worker and ask for help
- Keep your mobile charged so you can call the Police for help if
you need to
- Set up a code word that will let your friends and family know
if you need help
- End it! This may be tough, but relationship abuse usually only
gets worse if nothing is done to stop it.
Remember that it's not your fault.
Where can I get help?
You're not alone - a number of people can help you "break free"
of an abusive relationship, or if your parents, friends or
relatives are behaving this way and you don't know what to do.
If you are in immediate danger, always call Merseyside Police on
Otherwise, you can get free, confidential advice and support
- Childline - 0800 1111 (the number will not show on your phone
- NSPCC - 0808 800 5000
- Safe2Speak - Support and Advice
regarding Domestic Abuse for St Helens
residents 01744 743200
You can get other useful information support, advice &
- about a wide range of issues effecting young people fom YAZ (Youth Action
- about sexual health for 13-19 year-olds from TAZ (Teenage Advice Zone).